Daily Bible Reading: Ecclesiastes 1-6
Author: Not stated but probably Solomon. The author is identified as “the son of David” (1:1) and “king over Jerusalem” (1:12) and says he has “more wisdom than all they that have been before me” (1:16).
Date: 900s BC.
In ten words or less: Apart from God, life is empty and unsatisfying.
“From Know Your Bible, published by Barbour Publishing, Inc. Used by permission.”
Ecclesiastes 1:16-18 (NKJV) I communed with my heart, saying, “Look, I have attained greatness, and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge.” And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind. For in much wisdom is much grief, And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NKJV) Two are better than one Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
4:9–12. In contrast with the futility of selfish greed, Solomon commended sharing with others by citing several advantages that come from companionship: better profit (a good return) from one’s labor (v. 9), help in times of difficulty (v. 10), comfort in a time of need (v. 11; one’s body heat can keep another person from freezing), protection in time of danger (v. 12). The last three of these are illustrated by examples from the benefits of two persons traveling together. In the case of the second and third of these (vv. 10b, 11b) Solomon lamented the perils of isolation (characteristic of selfish greed; cf. “a man all alone,” v. 8a). Having set forth the advantages of joint effort and the mutual benefits of sharing one’s toil and its fruit with another, Solomon stated climactically that if two are better than one (v. 9) then three are even better (v. 12). One’s efforts and benefits should not be confined to merely two persons.
Ecclesiastes 5:1-2 (NKJV) Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil. Do not be rash with your mouth, And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God. For God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few.
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